Linked Businesses

The Economy of Space

If you are looking for a wallbed or Murphy Bed in the greater Seattle area, it is pretty easy to find us.  The challenge we face in our business, is making ourselves known to folks who DON’T KNOW they are looking for a wallbed! One of our main purposes of blogging is to try to stimulate discussions and get people thinking about how their space is being utilized. Once the evaluation starts, questions and solutions are going to follow.

I love Make: magazine. Their projects are always interesting and they are famous for “hacking.”  Hacking is where you take something (i.e. an old TV console) and turn it into something new or more efficient (an aquarium). Last week they presented an over-sized example of a fabulous hack.  The town of York, Alabama lacked an outdoor community space.  The town had many abandoned houses and overgrown lots.  One of these houses was chosen, materials were salvaged to reuse in the rebuild, and a design was picked. They built a new little house, in the same style as the other houses in town but here is the cool part: It UNFOLDS into outdoor seating for 100! Here is the video:

And here is the article: http://makezine.com/2013/08/19/open-house-no-really/

When the seating is not needed, the house folds back up and tucks away!!  The lot it sits on, is now a park and enjoyed folks daily.  Much more so, than if the seating was taking up the space all the time! This is Economy of Space applied!  It is not complicated to operate. The footprint when it is closed vs. when it is opened is about 1:5.  It can be used as often or seldom as needed. Wait…are we talking about a Community Center or a wallbed?! Can you see how that way of thinking: breaking down the functions within a set space; can help revise how you see and use your own space?

Another way to look at the Economy of Space is through the actual costs. How much does your home cost to run every month (mortgage+insurance+electricity+repairs+gas…)? Divide that by the square footage of your home. That gives you the “$/sq. foot/ month” ($) value of your space. Now, measure your guest room in square feet (g).  Here’s where it gets interesting. Multiply ($) x (g) x 12= the cost of your guest room per year ($Y). NOW, divided that by how many days a year that room is used (U). The cost per day of use will be ($Y)/(U) Let’s say it costs $1.25/sq. foot; and your guest room is 11’x8’ or 88 sq. feet;  and there are 12 months in the year; and guests stay there 11 days a year: ($1.25)x(88)x(12)+=($Y)=$1320… $1320/11=$120!

Let me explain that to you: you are spending $1320 a year for a room that is used 11 times. Every time it is used, it costs $120! Now let’s change one thing: the configuration of the room into home office/ reading room. Let’s swap the regular queen sized bed, which takes up a huge part of the real estate of that room, for a wallbed. Set up the office and cozy chair. Now, how often will you use this room? In a year, let’s say 243 days. Our ($Y)/(U) equation now becomes: $1320/243= $5.43!!  Doesn’t that make more sense (or cents)?? Welcome to the Economy of Space!

A writer was talking about storing things in their home and wrote this: “…but that got me thinking about how much our space costs us. I figured that we pay approximately $1.65 per square foot per month for our space. This means that if something is taking up 1 square foot of space but it’s value is low, over time we basically lose money because the value of the item taking up the space is worth less than what we pay for the space. Additionally, the more efficiently we can use the space the better value we are getting for our money.” –shannonkay from gspn.tv forum

So there you go- hacking, math and economics! Mr. Z was right! Story problems are everywhere!

Now you see it. Now you DON’T!

We are the Great American Wallbed Co. in Bellevue, WA.

Categories: Linked Businesses, Space Saving Wallbeds, Wallbed / Murphy Bed Costs | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wallbeds and Pets

Are there such things as wallbeds for dogs and cats? Yes there are!  Unfortunately, we don’t make them (at this time) but here is a place where you can find them.  Or you can even build your own with directions found here.

The subject of cat and dogs is close to our hearts here at the Great American Wallbed Co.  If you ever stop by to check out of selection of wallbeds, one special helper will gladly show you how to relax on top of the covers or sometimes UNDER the covers. Kitty has been helping us demonstrate our beds for about 5 years now. She is part Maine Coon and is not a tiny cat. Kitty’s early years are a secret but five years ago she was adopted by our fearless leader, Robert, and has been greeting folks ever since.

Dad and Kitty

Thanks for Adopting!

One day Robert decided he wanted a cat.  Robert’s wife, Heidi, was not as keen on the idea.  A short while later, Robert visited a locksmith who happened to have a ‘shop cat’ and he figured he could do the same!  He went out to Homeward Bound, in Woodinville, WA, and was taken by a huge fluffball who had been passed over by many others.  She was too big, all grown up, not a wee little kitten… But when she brushed up against his leg, that was all it took.  Kitty had a new home.

She greets us when we arrive each day, plays with her toys and keeps us company when we work late.  She does have a feisty side- woe to you if you are petting her and dare to stop!  The high point of her day is when the mail arrives.  Bonnie, the mail carrier brings her treats and gives her a scratch or two.  Sad is the day when someone other than Bonnie is driving the truck and there aren’t any treats. She looks at them with undisguised disdain.  They are driving the truck and bringing the mail- therefore the treats should be there as well!

The rescues and shelters of FULL of special critters just like Kitty who would love to keep you company.  Please take an afternoon and find yourself a buddy.

I will leave you with two important tips:

Adopt, don’t Shop!

“Help control the pet population: Have your pet spayed or neutered.” (Thanks Bob Barker!)

We are The Great American Wallbed Co. in Bellevue, Washington.

Now you see it. Now you don’t!

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Expanding the Possibilities of Affordable Senior Housing with Wallbeds

Recently we attended a Technology Home Showcase, arranged by LeadingAge Washington. We shared our solution of how to expand the possibilities with our version of an affordable Horizontal Wall Bed slightly narrower than a standard Twin size, mattress included. We call it The Companion Bed.

The Technology Committee, headed by Wattenbarger Architects, put together an exhibit that showcased how seniors can live either independently or within a long-term care community with the help of innovative, universal design and technology support.

CB show

Much thought has gone into making Senior Living an affordable and enjoyable experience.  But we will not kid ourselves; living in Senior Housing and Assisted Living/ Nursing Homes can be exorbitantly expensive.   So where does the “affordable” come in?

For the many that had the foresight to “move down” into smaller homes or condos, there are many affordable products enabling owners to stay put.  But as age progresses, to remain independent in a small footprint home, sometimes requires a companion to stay overnight.  How can they rest comfortably?  Not on a sleeper couch!

If I had a dollar for all our customers who threw out the sleeper couch in exchange for a Wall bed/Murphy Bed during our Costco Road Shows, I would be a rich woman! NO, they didn’t even donate it to the Services for the Blind, this contraption continues to be too UNCOMFORTABLE.

The Companion Bed (TM) to the rescue! It’s easy to operate, may even fit in a hallway, and provides a good rest for any BODY, expanding the possibilities, indeed! Find out more at our sister company’s site: NuSpace Medical.

For more general wallbed information, please check out http://gawallbeds.com/. We look forward to assisting you!

Categories: Adding a Wall Bed or Murphy Bed, Linked Businesses, Space Saving Wallbeds | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Which Mattress is Best for My Wallbed or Murphy Bed? Do I Need Box Springs?

Good news for those who worry about what kind of mattress they can put on their Wall bed/Murphy Bed: you may use any mattress that you deem comfortable as long as it is within the bounds of the Wallbed manufacturer’s measurements.

And NO, you will not need box springs.  All the comfort is now in the top mattress!

Know this:

mattresses

  • the frame of a standard wall bed takes a standard size mattress.  (Queen, Full, Twin)
  • The thickness of the mattress is dictated by the depth of your wallbed, which in turn is dictated by the height of the legs!.  Ours are in the middle and can handle 12”
    thick mattresses in the wallbeds and 11” in Library beds.
  • Once that’s established, it’s time to head for the Mattress Store.

Since it may be some time ago you bought a mattress, you’d be pleasantly surprised at the various types available today.  Here’s a blog that gives you good information, both about mattress types as well as some helpful hints about achieving a good night’s sleep: Mattress Depot USA.  We have sent untold number of customers to Mattress Depot, by the way; their salespeople are familiar with a Wall bed/Murphy bed customer’s need.  Furthermore, they are excellent to do business with! (Our shop is just down the street from the Overlake store.)

Since we were often displaying our Wall Bed /Murphy Bed units next to the mattress aisle at Costco we of course checked out their wares.  They have a good selection that is always favorably priced.  Usually there is no trained salesperson for these mattresses, so you are left to your own hopes and guesses about which one to choose.   Read comments from customers. Educate yourself!

Do you intend to use a Memory Foam type mattress on your Wall bed frame?  If you use the bed nightly, or at least often, Memory Foam is ok.  If it is for occasional guest, and the mattress is resting on its head for months at a time, memory foam mattresses may slump a bit. The wallbed may need to be opened up for a while before the guest goes to sleep.

There are SO many choices and that is why we do not sell our beds with a mattress.  And one more tip: the thickness refers to the OVERALL thickness, including the puffy pillowtop.  Please measure to the thickest point and not just between the stitched welts on the sides.

Sweet Dreams from The Great American Wallbed Co.

Image courtesy of: Mattress Vancouver. Their mattress blogs are rather amusing!

Categories: Comfort, Linked Businesses | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Should I Buy a Wallbed / Murphy Bed Locally or Online?

Surfing the WWW for Wall Bed/Murphy Bed companies the other day caused me to reflect on this dilemma: Local or Online? I checked out both nationwide and local Wall Bed/Murphy Bed manufacturers.  Several of the online companies I viewed have great websites, such as Bedder Way and BredaBeds. They contain a large amount of information regarding material, finishes, measurements, pricings and so on. Usually you will have to pay freight and install it yourself with the video and written instructions provided. It can be tricky, but it is doable with enough planning and extra hands. You will save money on the installation, but probably pay more for freight.

Gerald_G_Balance_ScaleLocal Wall Bed/Murphy Bed companies in the greater Seattle/ Puget Sound area also offer good info. Among them are:  Wallbeds Northwest and Northwest Closet and Wallbeds. A local company should be able to come out to your home to measure your space and make suggestions. They will also have the ability to install your new wallbed. Make sure they are licensed and bonded before they start to assemble your wallbed. You will pay more for installation, but it will usually be done in one.  Most DIY project I have experienced, last MUCH longer than that!

Additionally, these national companies may be local or online: California Closets and Closets By Design. They offer splashy videos and mouth-watering solutions.

Honestly, most of the Wallbed/ Murphy Bed companies, both online and local, are capable and skilled in making what you want. For me, it comes down to this: personal contact and cost.

A local retail store (less shipping, handling, and installation cost) would be my decision. Why? Because I will be working with people, i.e. human beings, that I may later run into at the local Starbucks. With the national companies, it is trickier to make a lasting connection.  (Don’t you agree now that I pointed it out to you????)

  • Get a feel for whom you are dealing with. You might be surprised how simplified your process becomes.
  • In return, you will feel good for favoring and supporting one of your LOCAL companies.  We would love to be your teacher, help you zero in on your needs, and together come up with a workable and satisfying design.
  • Local Wallbed companies are usually Family Owned and Operated.  We pay Local Taxes J  Think about it!

In this case the “WE” are The Great American Wallbeds Company, (aka Seattle Wallbeds Co.) Bellevue, WA.  The “great,” in Great American Wallbed, is our reputation around the Greater Seattle Area Costco Special Events.  Chances are you saw us there first  🙂

Check out The Great American Wallbed Co. for our offerings.

Categories: Linked Businesses, Wallbed / Murphy Bed Costs | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Wallbeds/ Murphy Beds come to Downtown Bellevue Network

downtownbellevue.com

downtownbellevue.com

Bellevue, with its modern, upscale, progressive condos, can add another happy owner to our list of contemporary wallbed customers. The owner of Downtown Bellevue Network, editor of www.downtownbellevue.com, a man who understands and delivers the best of Bellevue on one page, chose our brand of wallbeds for his condo in downtown Bellevue!  With his quick wit and keen sense for quips, he gave us our new tagline:

  Now you see it. Now you don’t!

We are happy to entrust our wallbed to a man who discerns and grabs a good deal when he sees one.  It’s incredibly satisfying for us knowing our space-saving wallbeds magically gain 30 to 35 square feet more floor space for you. Join our list of savvy Bellevue shoppers!  Read our blogs! Visit us on Facebook!  Schedule a time to come in!

Check out www.gawallbeds.com to find your own wallbed!

Categories: Linked Businesses, Space Saving Wallbeds | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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